Junior Laura Randall reflects on a seriously disrupted semester

Randall discusses shift from small classes to online learning
Randall discusses shift from small classes to online learning

When I first transferred to USAO two years ago, I would have never imagined the end of my junior year would be like this. For me, the biggest change was not having in-person classes.

I think what I miss most about being on campus is being so close to my friends. Since we have smaller class sizes at USAO, it's easy to make friends with the people you see multiple times each week. To combat the distance, several of my friends and I have set up Zoom meetings to study for finals. During a normal semester, we would have gotten together in the library to study and hang out for hours. I would have gotten to teach my week of dinosaur lessons to the young students in the Child Development Center. I miss each and every one of those students and can’t wait to get back in the classroom in the fall.

The transition to online classes was an interesting one. Navigating a new learning environment was tricky at first, but by the end of the semester, I had the hang of it. It was so nice getting the chance to see my classmates’ faces, even if it was just on a screen.  Many of my classes were self-paced and making sure to keep myself on a schedule proved challenging at times, however, with encouragement from my professors and classmates, it all worked out. And my dog has definitely enjoyed having me home more!

Upon returning to USAO, I am excited to see the professors and staff, especially my friends. I’m ready to get back to attending classes and club meetings and studying in the library with Addison the cat. I can’t wait to be back on campus and cheering on the Drovers!

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